The first settler in Remsen township was Barnabas Mitchell who came from Meriden, CT in 1792 and located about 5 miles northeast of the present village. He was soon followed by Nathaniel Rockwood, John Bonner, Perez Farr, Bettis LeClerc, Jonah Dayton, John Kent and Shubael Cross, nearly all of whom were from New England. Capt. Shubael Cross settled at what is now Bardwell Mills and there he built the first sawmill and gristmill. In September, 1795, 5 families from Wales also located in the vicinity, being the first of their nationality to stake their future prosperity here.
The settlement was gradually increased by other arrivals and by the fall of 1801 the population numbered about 60 families or nearly 300 people. On March 15, 1798 legislation was passed forming the new County of Oneida from the County of Herkimer and it was enacted that "All of the town of Norway lying in the said new County of Oneida, shall be erected and organized into a new town, to be called Remsen."
That same year the first town meeting was held in Bardwell Mills at the log house of Samuel Howe, who was elected the first justice of the peace. Those elected to other offices were: Ephraim Holister, supervisor: Philip Scott, town clerk (and first physician); Stephen Hutchinson, overseer of the poor (and first postmaster of Remsen): and Joseph Brownell, one of three road commissioners.
The township at this time did not have enough male inhabitants of legal age entitled to citizenship to fill all the customary town offices such as fence viewer and hog-reeve. The population of Remsen township in 1860 was 2,670. At this time Remsen included the present town of Forestport. Town meetings were often held at Higby's Tavern (Penn Mountain Inn) because it was centrally located.
In 1869 it was decided by the voters that the township should be divided and on November 24 Forestport was set off and organized as a seperate town. Following the division, Remsen contained a population of 1,184. The first settler within the confines of the village of Remsen was Peter A. Becker prior to 1796. After the death of Baron von Steuben, several settlers on his patent relocated to the village.
Within a few years after arriving here they built a sawmill, gristmill, blacksmith shop, ashery and a store. The small settlement continued to grow and in 1845 the village of Remsen was incorporated by act of the legislature. By 1878 it had become a village of many establishments.
Today the number of businesses in our community has greatly decreased while our population continues to increase. The family dairy farm, once the leading occupation in our area has steadily declined over the years.